Operational forecasters in the fields of meteorology, hydrology and marine weather from 20 hydrological and meteorological services in the South-East Europe region met in Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, from 7-9 February 2017 to discuss the requirements of forecasting offices for the development of a Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System.
The cross-border project aims to increase resilience such as severe storms and floods which often hit the region. It is funded by USAID and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and will be implemented by the World Meteorological Organization with the support from Finnish Meteorological Institute.
The new system, called the South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System (SEE-MHEWS-A), will provide operational forecasters with effective and tested tools for forecasting hazardous weather events and their possible impacts. On a single virtual platform, the system will support the provision of accurate forecasts and warnings for hazard-
related decision-making by national authorities.The system will function as a cooperative platform where forecasters from different countries can work together on the identification of potential hazards and their impacts, especially when these affect many countries.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Mihail Cvetkov stated that ‘For successful combat with risks it is necessary to invest in the latest and the most advanced technical-technological realizations and update of the Hydrometeorological Service. It is achieved by continual cooperation and capacity building in order to improve the management with meteorological, hydrological and climatological data, weather, water and climate monitoring and forecast in our country and beyond.”
In recent years South-East Europe has experienced a significant number of severe meteorological and hydrological events that have brought heavy precipitation causing floods and landslides, droughts and forest fires, prolonged cold spells, heat waves, severe thunderstorms, and hailstorms. These hazards have had significant impacts in the region, including losses of human lives, damages to properties and infrastructure, and impaired the functioning of key sectors.
The event in Skopje was attended by 68 experts from project beneficiaries and stakeholder organizations.